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Coconut Oil for Cradle Cap: The Do’s, Don’ts, and Everything in Between

August 7, 2021

You absolutely can use coconut oil for cradle cap in babies! Before you do, though, there are a few things that you should know about this treatment. This includes which products to buy and how to use them.

Let’s find out everything that you need to know below!

Is Coconut Oil Good for Cradle Cap?

The first thing that you need to appreciate is what cradle cap is. The reality is that doctors don’t know what causes this skin condition.

One theory is that hormones from the mother pass to the baby before birth. This can result in an overproduction of sebum in the oil glands and hair follicles. The other school of thought is that a yeast known as malassezia grows in sebum along with bacteria. A higher population can cause the scaling typically associated with cradle cap.

Based on this, can coconut oil help?

If you are looking for how to remove cradle cap naturally, then coconut oil will do the trick. For one thing, coconut oil has found to beneficial against the kind of yeast that causes cradle cap. At the same time, the oil works to help healthy bacteria on the scalp to thrive, making it easier to keep the yeast and bad bacteria in check.

At the same time, the coconut oil is incredibly useful for softening the scales on your baby’s scalp so that they are easier to remove. This is because coconut oil acts as an emollient, trapping moisture inside the skin.

Once the scales have softened enough, you can remove them without hurting or irritating the skin underneath. Thus, you will not risk causing your baby any pain.   

Woman in white top carrying the baby

Is Coconut Oil Safe for Babies?

You don’t need to be told that infants have ultra-sensitive skin. As such, you do have to be careful about what you use or you could risk irritating their skin further. Therefore, the first thing that parents want to know is if it is safe to use coconut oil on baby skin.

Yes, coconut oil has been confirmed as being safe! In fact, it is a far better option than either olive oil or sunflower oil. And, in the case of baby oil vs. coconut oil, the latter is a far more natural option. Just as importantly, it has been found to have a positive impact on infant skin.

Of course, there is always the chance of your baby being allergic to coconut oil, but this is pretty rare. However, if either parent has a history of coconut oil allergies or allergies to coconut-derived products, it is a good idea to steer clear.

You may also want to use coconut oil only on a small portion of your baby’s skin first. Leave the oil on for a few minutes and then wash it off. If there is no irritation at the site after a day or two, then it should be fine for you to continue with the treatment.

How to Use Coconut Oil for Cradle Cap in Babies

When applying coconut oil to your baby’s scalp, it is a good idea to use as little as possible. Using too much oil can clog the pores, causing even further irritation or even causing your baby to break out into acne.

In fact, it is a good idea to only use the coconut oil on areas that have scabs or thick, raised portions of skin. Apply the coconut oil to the area and gently massage it in. Be very careful as you don’t want to accidentally remove the scab.

Leave the coconut oil on your baby’s scalp for about half an hour to an hour. Try not to leave it on too long, because the longer that it stays on, the greater the chance of clogging the follicles. It is better to use coconut for a shorter time over longer periods.

Once you feel like the scales have softened sufficiently. Use a baby brush to gently massage your baby’s scalp. Don’t use too much of pressure – if the scab is ready to come off, it will. If this isn’t the case, wash your baby’s head and repeat the treatment the following day.

When washing off the coconut oil, use a gentle baby shampoo – never use an adult shampoo or one that is meant for dandruff or other scalp conditions. Once again, make sure to avoid scrubbing too hard to prevent dislodging the scabs. Pat the area dry.

Woman Carrying A Baby Wearing Onesie

The Best Coconut Oil for Infants

It is a good idea to use coconut oil that has been specifically manufactured for babies. These formulas are often milder which lowers the risk of any kind of irritation. Your best option is Cocobelle coconut oil. It is organic and completely natural. What’s more, it is also often used to treat cradle cap as well.

Technically, you can use any kind of food-grade coconut oil for your baby’s skin. However, it is best to use organic and virgin coconut oil. This is gentler as there are no other ingredients or irritants introduced during the manufacturing process.

As a result, the oil tends to be a lot safer for your little one’s skin. Virgin coconut oil often holds more nutrients as well. Therefore, you may find that it helps to clear up the cradle cap a little more quickly.

Related Reading
The Ultimate Guide To Best Coconut Oil for Baby Needs
Beauty in a Bottle: Finding the Best Coconut Oil for Skin

What You Should Know About Cradle Cap Coconut Oil Treatment

If your infant has naturally oily skin or has baby acne, you should take care to avoid coconut oil getting on the rest of their face or skin. In some instances, coconut oil can clog pores and exacerbate existing acne.

If the coconut oil does seem to be taking effect and you are able to gently get rid of most of the scabs, you can stop using the oil as often. You may want to only apply the treatment every few days or so. This way, you will not have to shampoo your baby’s scalp as often.

It is important to realize that coconut oil isn’t a cure – there isn’t really a cure for cradle cap. In most instances, the skin condition disappears on its own after a few weeks or months, even if you don’t use any kind of treatment. Coconut oil can help to improve the appearance of your baby’s skin, though.

If the cradle cap hasn’t improved after a few months, appears, to be getting worse, or has spread to other parts of the body, it is a good idea to speak with a doctor. It could be that your baby is suffering from an infection or that another skin condition is to blame.

As you can see, it is quite easy for you to use coconut oil to clear up cradle cap. Now that you know how, you can use this remedy for your own infant.

If you enjoyed this post, make sure to check out our Pinterest page. We have a few other recommendations on which products are best for your baby.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Riya Borah
Nutritionist Educator | Riya Borah is a nutritionist educator and her job involves guiding people towards a healthier lifestyle. Growing up in India, Riya was aware of just how much coconut was used on a daily basis. This encouraged her to research the properties of this versatile drupe. It opened her eyes to both the limitation and possibilities of coconut. Her aim is to now educate as many people as possible about the best ways to utilize coconut in their own lives.
An Important Disclaimer
The information on this page should not be used as a substitute for professional medical advice. Consult a doctor if you wish to consume any kind of tea regularly for the purpose of treating any condition or illness.
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